On a day-to-day basis, we come across so many companies dabbling in loyalty programs, that it’s refreshing to see a company that is truly committed to them. We don’t measure commitment by just the size of the loyalty program or its rewards, but also how the program is integrated into the business model of the company. The latter reflects both effort and understanding of the value of key customers and then deploys capital into engaging and retaining them.
You can spot the reluctant companies’ loyalty programs from a mile away. They reveal a clear ‘follow-the-leader’ motivation and exhibit a ‘cookie cutter’ approach. A lot of focus is put on controlling costs and that is exposed by gimmicky travel or product rewards programs which promise zero net costs to the company offer them as rewards. None of these actions reflect a genuine belief in the value of the customer.
Companies like GameStop stand in strong contrast to these other firms. Their loyalty program approach reflects a strong commitment to maximizing customer loyalty as well as customer experience. In fact they see the latter (CX) as a key driver of the former (loyalty). A few of the key tactics that mark a truly integrated and strategic loyalty program are:
1. Leveraging the data generation and engagement value of loyalty programs to empower key customer facing parts of the business.
2. Pursuing the program ‘full-throttle’ by investing in infrastructure and data delivery to key action points across the organization
3. Avoiding quick payback approaches, which reflect a lack of understanding of the value of customer loyalty AND reduce the overall potential of the program to transform and empower your business model.